The main source of revenue for hotels is room rate. An average hotel makes about 68% of its revenue through reservations. There are both online and offline ways of booking a hotel room. For example, offline booking methods include telephonic reservations, direct walk-ins, etc. While online booking methods include employing the use of Online Travel Agents (OTAs), and through the hotel website and social media pages.
The technological revolution and the onset of the coronavirus have moved reservations online. Travellers prefer to make reservations through online platforms, and especially on-the-go through their smartphones. While OTAs are the most popular channel to make reservations, almost 15-30% of the revenue from each booking is lost as commissions. Furthermore, it is more likely that customers cancel their reservations when made through OTA channels as compared to directly with the hotels themselves. It is for these reasons that direct bookings through an online hotel booking system are considered one of the most profitable sources of revenue for hotels.
What Is A Hotel Booking Engine?
A hotel booking engine is an application that is integrated with the hotel’s website and/or social media pages to capture direct online reservations. With this method of booking, hotels avoid loss of revenue in the form of commissions paid to OTAs thus, optimizing sales and maximizing revenue per available room (RevPAR).
Why Do Hotels Need To Invest In Hotel Booking Engine Software?
A hotel website is no longer a luxury but an expected functionality that the modern-day traveller uses to choose where to stay. Irrespective of how big or how small your business is, having an online hotel booking system is extremely important to remain competitive and relevant in today’s world.
A few reasons why you should invest in an online booking engine for hotels include:
- Empowers guests to make informed decisions about their stay taking into account the rates, offers, preferences and amenities.
- Improves staff productivity as online hotel booking engines are a mode of self-service.
- Updates are directly shown on the front desk without any staff involvement.
- Easier to uphold booking and cancellation policies through secure payment gateways.
- Convenience and flexibility of booking to guests, without unwanted liaising with middlemen.
- Having a booking engine is more a necessity than a luxury, and you’ll be losing out on a large market without one.
What Features To Look For In A Hotel Booking Engine?
To ensure a positive guest experience, hoteliers need to provide the best service possible. This includes the process of booking too. If a guest has a harrowing experience booking, it is likely he won’t complete the process or may cancel his reservation. It is for this reason that you need to carefully consider the booking engine that you want to employ.
Listed below are a few guidelines to follow when choosing a hotel booking engine.
1. User-Friendly Design
Your online booking system needs to be able to deliver a seamless user experience. A simple design, pleasant on the eyes with easy-to-use functionalities should be your key focus areas. Your booking engine should be able to divulge all the necessary details without your guests having to look for them.
2. Mobile-Friendly UI
According to CondorFerries, 66% of millennials book their trip using a smartphone and 74% use it to research their stay. To cater to this market of travellers, it is crucial to ensure that your web engine is mobile optimized. A TripAdvisor study estimates that 61% of people leave websites that are not mobile-friendly before making a reservation.
Every hotel website has its own theme and colour scheme. Your hotel booking engine should be easily integrated with your website such that it matches the scheme, tone and image of your brand. Having anything different would make guests question the legitimacy of your website.
4. Easy on the pockets
Like everything else, your website and web booking engine should be budget-friendly. You should be able to get numerous features such as easy integration with a channel manager or a hotel property management system, personalization, connectivity to online payment gateways, merchant services, pricing strategies, report functionality and more with your web booking engine.
5. Allows for personalization of the guest experience
Creating packages and promo codes, applying discounts and offers, and customizing deals should be a breeze with your hotel booking engine.
Guests should also be able to add in any extra services or amenities that they need- like scheduling pick up or drop, spa service, etc.
6. Easy Integration with a PMS or Channel Manager
The hotel booking engine should allow for simple integration with a channel management system or a hotel PMS, to allow hoteliers easier reservation management.
Why Choose AxisRooms Hotel Booking Engine?
AxisRooms provides a quick, safe and user-friendly hotel booking software for clients across the globe. Drive more direct bookings to your website with a versatile hotel booking engine.
- Create or modify direct bookings directly from the dashboard.
- Give your guests multiple payment options- including both online and offline methods.
- Promote direct bookings with customizable deals and promo codes.
- Access the booking engine through a single login.
- Set up custom room pricing strategies and rate plans.
- Set up tax rates to ensure compliance with the latest tax laws.
- Get in-depth reports to help you create better sales strategies and budgets.